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In his glowing foreword to her cookbook Patricia Yeo: Cooking from A to Z, Bobby Flay describes his first impression of Yeo as a "tiny, soft-spoken female scientist with glasses, an English accent, and perfect manners." But just try to match that description with this biochemist turned celebrated chef who boldly combines cultures, spices, and cooking styles to come up with dishes such as Miso-Braised Short Ribs with Sherry-Caramel-Glazed Onions and Braised Broccoli Rabe, and Lapsang Souchong-Marinated Chicken with Fig Chutney and Scallion Pancakes.
Yeo was born in Malaysia, so her particular style combines the wide variety of bold Asian and Indian flavors she grew up with and exciting American ones, including those fiery, pungent Southwest flavors she picked up from Flay. Potato Springroll Knishes with Crème Fraîche and Caviar are elegant and delicate, full of flavor, and full of fun. Cauliflower Couscous is redolent with the nutty, toasted flavor of browned butter. And Double-Lime and Ginger Crème Brulee is light, creamy, barely sweet, and wonderfully refreshing. But what's truly remarkable is that Yeo's recipes are well explained, not at all complicated, and use readily available ingredients, making even the most elegant Lemongrass Gravlax with Rice Blini perfectly manageable for anyone, from the novice to the most accomplished chef. --Leora Y. Bloom
Executive chef Yeo pairs up with Moskin to deliver her take on fusion cuisine. Drawing on influences from her Malaysian upbringing and from new American cuisine styles, Yeo, who trained under Flay, plays on her New York restaurant name AZ for the title to the volume. Starting with her food philosophy of layering flavors "sweet and sour, spicy and tangy, smoky and pungent," she leads off with the ingredients she uses and basic recipes, such as Sticky Rice and Chicken Stock, which she incorporates in subsequent recipes. While many of the dishes have long ingredient lists, the methodology is often simple, as with the tasty Cold Spicy Sesame Noodles with Crisp Vegetables and the Yuzu-Basil Salad. However, many recipes involve several steps and rely on other recipes for a single dish (such as the Boneless Chicken Dhansak with Lentils and Pistachio-Golden Raisin Pilaf). Still, flavorsome results can be had for little effort as with the Onion-Sesame Sticky Rice, the Spicy-Sweet Mango Salad and the Wasabi Cucumber Salad. As a restaurant-based cookbook, the resulting volume provides tastes and ideas for the more experienced cook who wants to produce at home the flavors of the modern fusion eating place.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.